Top Pick Of The Week

October 12, 2010

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Black Bean Chicken Chile


Black bean, corn and chicken chili. Get the recipe. Photo courtesy McCormick.

WHAT IT IS: Gourmet beans grown from heirloom strains.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Freshness, softness and flavor over “starchiness.”
WHY WE LOVE IT: Beauty, variety and tasty fun.

.Page 4: Recipes For Beans

Tips For Cooking With Beans

While there are many detailed recipes for beans in our selection of bean cookbooks, plain beans are delicious, dressed with a bit of flavored olive oil (we like garlic olive oil), some grated cheese and snipped fresh parsley.

Cooking beans is easy:

  • While many recipes recommend holding the salt until the beans are cooked, we add salt at the beginning of cooking.
  • Foods high in acid (tomatoes, for example) slow down the cooking process. High-acid ingredients should be added after the beans are cooked to desired softness.
  • You can freeze cooked beans in two-cup portions to use in any recipe that calls for a 16-ounce can of beans. Your home-cooked bean are likely to have less sodium and be tastier.
  • Save the pot liquor for a stock. Its earthiness is great for bean soup or mushroom soup.

Basic Bean Recipe

  • 1 cup dry beans, any variety
  • 4 cups water (for more flavor use chicken broth)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Place all ingredients in a lidded pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Cover and turn heat down to medium- low.
  3. Simmer for 2-3 hours or until desired tenderness is reached. Don’t overcook and end up with mushy beans.
  4. Check pot occasionally and add water as needed.

The article continues  below with a delicious tomato and bean soup recipe.


This is Page 4 of a four-page review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages:


Spicy Tomato Soup & Cranberry Bean Recipe

This recipe, developed by Chef Eric Dantis, combines the antioxidant lycopene in tomato soup with the nutritious beans. Serves 4.


  • 2 cans San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 ancho chile
  • 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1-½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 bunch cilantro (use leaves for garnish, and use stems for bouquet)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional herb garnish: cilantro or basil
  • Optional cream garnish: crème fraîche, plain yogurt or sour cream


Tomato Soup
The beans are hidden under the soup. To have them show through, use a shallow bowl; or let them be a surprise. Photo by Evegny B | IST.
  1. Cook cranberry beans according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a pot on medium-high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom.
  3. Use scissors to cut off the root end of the ancho chile. Then, cut into strips and sauté for about 2 minutes. (Wash hands after handling chili and avoid touching eyes and/or nose.)
  4. Toss in onion, carrot and garlic, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and sweat until translucent.
  5. When vegetables are tender, stir in cumin, smoked paprika and coriander; toast for two minutes.
  6. Fold in tomato paste and chipotle chile plus two tablespoons of the adobo sauce. Let cook for one minute.
  7. Using a cheesecloth or coffee filter, make a bouquet garni out of the herbs, cilantro stems and bay leaf. Tie tightly and add to the pot.
  8. Add San Marzano tomatoes and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
  9. Raise heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  10. Remove bouquet garni, place soup in a bender and blend until smooth.
  11. Stir in beans and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  12. Plate and serve with optional garnishes: cilantro leaves or basil; crème fraîche, plain yogurt or sour cream.

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